Op-Ed: When It Comes To GOP Terrorism, Impeachment Is A Nice Start
By Sam Youngman & Adam Parkhomenko
The Republican Party is furious.
Not because their lies led to a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol. Not because their lies got a police officer killed. And not because the specter of more violence in D.C. has become a permanent resident.
No, they’re furious because we’re moving to hold Donald Trump accountable for just a sliver of the irreparable damage he has done to this nation.
It seems nothing makes the party of personal responsibility angrier than having to take personal responsibility for their roles in inciting — and in some cases possibly coordinating — a deadly attack on the American people.
Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz and most of the incoming Republican House members. The 147 members of Congress who saw their lies lead to the attack and then still voted to overturn the will of the American people in the middle of the night. Fox News and right-wing media. Republicans who stood silently and said nothing as their colleagues spread lies and fear.
These are terrorists. These are the people that brought violence, insurrection and bloodshed to our house during one of our most sacred rituals — the once peaceful transfer of power. They lied. They knew they were lying. They knew their lies were whipping dangerous people up into a frenzy. And they didn’t care.
They still don’t.
On Tuesday, Jim Jordan, one of the radical extremists who fomented the terror attack, was given repeated opportunities by his Democratic colleagues to disavow the lies that led us to this point. They pleaded with him to do so. And still he kept lying.
That is of course not surprising for a, ahem, man who allegedly helped cover for a serial molester when he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Perhaps the bigger question is why were we pleading with terrorist scum like him for anything in the first place.
Because there is almost no contrition coming from the right. In fact, they seem pretty damn pleased with themselves. They have largely responded with more threats, telling us in veiled terms that if we move forward with impeaching Trump a second time, it will only anger his people.
Well, after five years of watching their anger and dishonesty cleave this country in two, we’re damn sick and tired of the threats and of bending to the will of cheap thugs dressed up as congressmen and senators and television hosts.
It is time for Democrats and other patriots to declare enough is enough.
And mean it.
On Wednesday, Democrats will introduce articles of impeachment. They will pass, and they will likely pass with a small number of Republican supporters. The rest will do what they’ve done since the attack — pretend it was someone else’s fault and that the real crime would be holding them accountable.
That’s fine. We expect them to keep lying. Hell, they got a cop killed, and they barely even paused a moment before going on telling the same lies that got him killed in the first place. Trump and his enablers are irredeemable. We cannot save their souls because they do not have souls to save.
But we do. And so does our country. Joe Biden spent the last two years that last year’s election was a battle for the soul of America. He was right. But that battle didn’t end on Election Night, and now it has a body count.
But battles need soldiers, and it’s time Democrats started viewing themselves in that light. Democracy is under attack. We have to be as determined and zealous in defending it as Republicans are about ending it.
Let’s just be honest about it: Democrats have a reputation for being weaklings, and there have been times when we’ve earned it. For people who work in politics, our side all too often acts like politics is beneath them.
But this is bigger than politics. This is about survival.
And our republic simply cannot survive if Republicans can spark a violent fire that burns through the Capitol and then walk away with no consequences. So while impeachment is a great start, it needs to be just the start. People need to be expelled from Congress. There needs to be censure. There need to be people who lose their committee assignments. There need to be criminal charges filed.
Now look. It’s easy for us to say these things from behind a keyboard. We weren’t in the Capitol last week. We didn’t have to barricade a door with furniture or hide under a table and pray for our lives. We don’t envy the position Democratic officeholders and their staff are in now because of the sick violent minds and actions of their GOP colleagues.
But we need them to stand tall. To stand in the face of threats and defend what we hold so dear.
And we need them to be thorough.
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